November 30, 2022

Saving Break

Break Through With Legalicy

‘Judge Judy’ Producers Defeat Lawsuit More than Star’s $47 Million Spend

The makers of television’s “Judge Judy” did not breach their deal with a talent company by increasing the income of Judy Sheindlin, the show’s star, to $47 million and managing it as a manufacturing expenditure, a California appellate court docket reported Friday.

The predecessor of Rebel Entertainment Companions Inc. bought a court docket-oriented show that includes Sheindlin, a former New York loved ones court choose, to producers Huge Ticket Tv Inc. and distributor CBS Corp. in 1995. As part of the transaction, CBS agreed to spend Rebel 5% of the show’s “defined proceeds,” calculated by gross receipts minus creation expenditures.

In 2009, CBS doubled Sheindlin’s salary to $45 million, and later enhanced it to $47 million, building her the best-paid host on tv, and considerably decreasing the total Rebel received.

Rebel sued CBS in Los Angeles Superior Court docket, asserting promises for breach of deal and breach of the implied covenant of fantastic faith and honest working. It alleged the raise in fork out need to have been handled as a form of profit participation, relatively than a output expenditure.

The demo court turned down that argument, locating CBS thoroughly allotted the income as a manufacturing expenditure. It granted summary judgment for CBS.

The California Court of Charm, Next District, affirmed the ruling. Sheindlin testified that she furnished non-negotiable salary demands to CBS just about every 3 yrs, and would have terminated the show’s romance with CBS if her demands weren’t met, Justice Gerrard Chaney wrote in the unpublished impression.

An expert at trial testified that Sheindlin’s salary was appreciably larger than other television personalities, like David Letterman, Jay Leno, and Conan O’Brien, who all acquired no far more than $28 million each year at the time Sheindlin was producing $47 million.

But CBS was forced to settle for Sheindlin’s needs, mainly because failing to do so would jeopardize the display, Chaney said. Payments to her, for that reason, constituted costs of manufacturing.

Rebel lost dollars below the settlement for the reason that Sheindlin demanded a huge salary, not since of any action by CBS, Chaney said. The settlement stated that the salary of a performer constituted price of output, and Rebel failed to establish a phrase that required CBS to allocate costs of creation in good religion.

Justices Frances Rothschild and Helen I. Bendix joined the view.

Freedman & Taitelman and Greines, Martin, Stein & Richland signify Rebel Amusement. Loeb & Loeb signifies CBS.

The circumstance is Rebel Entm’t Partners Inc. v. Significant Ticket Television, Cal. Ct. App., 2d Dist., No. B305862, unpublished 7/30/21.